Last week, the Times ran a big story about Mitt Romney’s double life as a reluctant millionaire, as told by his close friends and associates. He may have bought his wife a six-figure horse and he’s quadrupling the size of his $12-million house—but he flies JetBlue! He plays golf with clubs he bought at K-Mart! He’s rich, but he’s not comfortable being rich. He splurges, but not on himself. For a man who’s bought houses that look like hotels and contributed millions to his own campaigns, the whole exercise can seem like splitting hairs.
One of the most striking changes to Newsweek in recent months has been the influx of celebrity authors. The current issue alone contains contributions from Gordon Brown, Cindy McCain, Betty White, and A.Q.
Howie Kurtz has a piece in today's Post about how daytime and late-night TV shows have tilted toward Obama.
Yesterday she accused Barack Obama of "wag[ing] the dirtiest campaign in American history." Today she all but accuses him of putting her son's life in danger, telling a rally in Pennsylvania: “The day that Sen. Obama cast a vote to not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body let me tell you,” she said. “I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying.” That's some ugly, ugly stuff. Much uglier, I'd add, than Michelle Obama's line about being proud of her country for the first time.
Last night Mitt Romney got on stage at the Republican Convention and railed "Eastern elites" that have been running Washington. For a true change, he said, "look for the sun in the West, 'cause it's about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska!" Yes, something from Arizona was certainly shining at the convention, but it wasn't the sun. It was Cindy McCain's citrine dress from Monday night. And her three-carat diamond earrings. Oh, and don't forget the Chanel J12 white ceraminc watch. Cindy's dress, designed by Oscar de la Renta, cost $3,000, and the watch, another $4,500.
Via The Page, I see that Cindy McCain will be on Stephanopoulos tomorrow fulminating against Obama's convention speech: "I'm offended by Barack Obama saying that about my husband," said McCain's wife Cindy. When asked if Obama went too far in his criticism of McCain, Cindy responded, "I do. I do. I really do." McCain also said beer distributorship her father built, which is the source of much her family's wealth, typifies the American Dream. "My father had nothing. He and my mother sold everything they had to raise $10,000," she said.
In case you missed it over at The Stump, click here to read Noam Scheiber's take on a long lost McCain congressional ad from 1982. Also on the site this week is his profile of Cindy McCain and the Hensley family, in which Scheiber points out just how the potential future first lady helped invent the McCain we know today. --The Editors
All this talk about McCain's houses gives me an excuse to plug Noam's great story about Cindy McCain, which includes this detail (along with many, many more): The following January, John Rhodes, the iconic Phoenix representative, decided to retire. The looming primary would determine his successor in such a heavily Republican district, and it attracted two veteran pols in a matter of weeks. But it was McCain who arguably moved the quickest. Within minutes of the announcement, Cindy had found a modest two-story house in a subdivision called The Lakes.
ON SATURDAY, MAY 17, 1980, Cindy Lou Hensley married Navy Captain John McCain at the First United Methodist Church on Central Avenue in Phoenix, not far from the bride’s childhood home. After the ceremony, the wedding entourage headed nearly three miles east to the Arizona Biltmore resort, a sprawling gray oasis designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé in the 1920s. Guests fêted the couple in the resort’s Aztec Room, an elegant, twelve-sided banquet hall with a vaulted, gold-leaf ceiling. The 25-year-old bride seemed impervious to the desert heat.
I meant to flag this yesterday and never got around to it, but Jonathan Martin had an important post about the back-and-forth over whether the candidate's wives are fair game: In a Brody File interview, Obama carps about McCain not speaking out against some of the shots against Michelle: And you know I've said publicly before, and I'll say it again - I think families are off limits. I would never consider making Cindy McCain a campaign issue, and if I saw people doing that - I would speak out against it.